Beverly Hill-based Genius and Vancouver-based Wow are publicly traded on, respectively, the Nasdaq and Toronto exchanges and shares of both were trending higher Wednesday morning.
Genius Brands CEO Andy Heyward said the merger will substantially accelerate financial growth and expansion in the global children’s entertainment market. The deal provides it access to various Canadian federal and provincial tax credits, which will allow Genius Brands to transfer its current animation production from China at great savings, he said.
Wow productions includes Adventure Time, FairlyOdd Parents, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Castlevania (Frederator Studios) and Madagascar – a Little Wild, Barbie Dreamhouse (Mainframe Studios). Its CEO Michael Hirsh’s track record includes the first Star Wars animated programs, Magic School Bus, Care Bears, Babar, Johnny Test, and Beetlejuice, among others.
Wow also has a large social media footprint across YouTube, TikTok and Giphy that will help expand the Genius Brands kids’ demo to teens and young adults. Wow has over 1 billion views per month on its Frederator YouTube Network, with over 2,500 advertiser supported channels.
Content produced by Wow will run on Genius’ Kartoon Channel! and through its consumer products and global licensing chain.
Hirsch will join the board of Genius Brands and continue to oversee Mainframe, Frederator Studios, Networks and Platforms.
Genius’ ‘content with a purpose’ portfolio includes Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal, coming to Kartoon Channel! in 2022; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, on Netflix; award-winning toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab; and entrepreneurship series Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club.
Through licensing agreements,, characters from Genius brands’ IP appear on a wide range of consumer products for the worldwide retail marketplace.
It’s new Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! are available in over 100 million U.S. television households via a broad range of distribution platforms.
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